Lawyer: DAP has legal option to challenge RoS directive

R-Kengadharan-rosPETALING JAYA: The DAP leadership has the option to mount a legal challenge against the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) instruction for the party to hold a fresh election, a civil lawyer said.

R Kengadharan said the party could file a judicial review since it was an administrative directive by the RoS.

“They have 90 days upon receiving an official letter from the RoS to file the suit,” he told FMT.

He said the party could also ask for a stay order from the court to suspend the RoS directive once leave for judicial review was obtained.

Kengadharan said the other option available was for the party to hold a fresh election to select its central executive committee (CEC) members.

“But that will be seen as an admission of guilt by the present office bearers,” he said.

The lawyer said this in response to the RoS’ instruction for the party to hold a fresh election for its CEC, after its investigations concluded that the DAP’s earlier re-election, held on Sept 29, 2013, was not in accordance with the law.

He said the RoS could only proceed to deregister the party only if the DAP had unsuccessfully exhausted its legal avenues but still refused to hold the re-election.

The CEC would be meeting this evening to decide the next course of action.

The RoS’ instruction followed complaints made by DAP members who were dissatisfied with the party’s 2013 re-election.

In a statement yesterday, RoS director-general Mohammad Razin Abdullah said the agency had to act in light of such complaints.

“RoS believes the appointment of the CEC members as well as the main position holders through that re-election, is illegal.

“The re-election should be based on the list of delegates entitled to attend and vote for DAP’s CEC elections dated Dec 15, 2012, involving 2,576 delegates from 865 branches,” he said.

He added that the RoS considers DAP a legitimate party and has no intentions to de-register it so far.

In 2014, the DAP had also filed a judicial review when the RoS threatened to declare illegal the CEC elected in 2013.

The party then withdrew the suit when the RoS said the current CEC could function pending its investigation.

Yesterday, party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng questioned why the RoS took four years to decide that the DAP’s re-election was invalid.